In recent months, argues Lisa Barone in a post at the Outspoken Media blog, we've had a ready and convenient excuse when things don't go our way. It doesn't really matter what the setback might be; the simple act of blurting out "recession" seems to cover a number of professional failures that might just be our own fault.

Barone allows that many people have been hurt by the recession but says she's sick of hearing why something can't be done—or isn't being done—because of a shaky economy. "Entrepreneurs are ruling this recession," she says. "Why? Because they're hungry and they're motivated." According to Barone, the way to succeed in the current economy is to stop making excuses and:

Learn something new. "Go beyond your bubble and learn how to do something that makes you stand out," she says.

Work harder. Don't take anything for granted; promptly follow up on every lead and return every call, even if you're not sure it will deliver results. Surround yourself with colleagues who share your particular determination and commitment.

Take risks. "There are a million reasons why right now is a bad time, maybe even the worst time, to get involved with a new venture," she says. "Ignore them all."

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